Over 110 European civil society organisations have signed a letter initiated by Civil Society Europe and Social Platform and addressed to Commissioners Johannes Hahn and Vera Jourová on the decision to remove the contact details of all officials below Head of Unit level from the ‘Whoiswho’ directory.
The decision limits opportunities for civil dialogue and reduces institutional transparency at a time when it needs to be increased. This decision could result in inequality, as only those stakeholders who have greater capacity and resources will be able to continue engaging with Commission officials. This carries the risk of an unbalanced representation of interests and opens the door to shady areas where undue influence can thrive
Access to information is an essential prerequisite for meaningful civil dialogue and democratic participation. For this reason, along with a broad coalition of civil society organisations, we call on the Commission to at least restore the details of officials to the ‘Whoiswho’ directory, and preferably to take further measures to enhance institutional transparency.